words from a cloud*

January 22, 2023


2022 Walk Award
By Matthew Stuckey

“…all the flowers are forms of water.
the sun reminds them through a white cloud…”
W.S. Merwin

you think my body is light
as air but I am
the weight of water
heavy as stones
above your head

I am water that
moves in oceans above you
I am a form of river and
ancient glacier shining

the pink cherry blossoms are
also forms of water
the egret in the light
an old tortoise hiding

and in the night
your words of despair as well

*Copyright © 2022 by Matthew Stuckey. Broadside illustrated by Kimberly Wulfestieg.

Poet’s bio:
Matthew Stuckey lives with his wonderful wife in Bellingham, Washington, where he practices acupuncture and wanders around in the mountains. This is his first published poem and will hopefully not be his last. The cloudy PNW and W.S. Merwin’s poem “Rain Light” inspired the poem “words from a cloud.”

NOTE: a chapbook of the 2022 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest winning poems, including this one, is available at Village Books in Bellingham. All sales profits benefit the annual contest.

BE the crowd

November 1, 2016

W.S. Merwin

Now and then we like to browse the crowdfunding sites to see what’s new in the world of poetry. We were somewhat surprised to discover that the very distinguished Copper Canyon Press has just launched a Kickstarter campaign, The Essential W.S. Merwin, to help the press publish the definitive collection of W.S. Merwin’s poetry.

“As a backer, you’ll gain a collection for your library that you’ll surely turn and return to. You can even choose to have your name, or the name of a loved one, printed in every first-edition copy of the book (imagine your name alongside Merwin’s in the Library of Congress). Your contribution will help ensure that poetry readers of today—and generations of readers to come—will have a place to experience Merwin’s work again, or for the first time.”

Visit Kickstarter before 5:00pm, Thursday, December 1, 2016, to learn more…and be part of the crowd.

Pulitzers tonight

October 6, 2016

Pulitzers in Person

Humanities Washington, Copper Canyon Press, and the Pulitzer Prizes invite you to tune in to a live-stream webcast of Pulitzers in Person: a tribute to the work of the legendary poets W.S. Merwin and Lucille Clifton. The panel features poets Ellen Bass, Maurice Manning, and Camille Rankine in conversation about what makes the work of these two Pulitzer-recognized writers so extraordinary.

The live stream begins at 7:00pm (Pacific) this evening, Thursday, October 6, 2016, here: https://www.therootschannel.com/media/honoring-ws-merwin-lucille-clifton.

This is the first of three Pulitzers in Person events. The series continues November 3 and December 7, 2016.

W.S. Merwin: To Plant a Tree

April 22, 2016, marks the 46th anniversary of Earth Day. In honor of that occasion and in celebration of National Poetry Month, the hour-long video “W.S. Merwin: To Plant a Tree” will air on PBS stations nationwide over the next two weeks.

W.S. Merwin moved to an old pineapple plantation on Maui, Hawaii, in 1976. Since that time, while continuing his prodigious output of writing, serving twice as U.S. poet laureate (1999-2000, 2010-2011) and winning prizes and awards too numerous to mention, he has worked steadily to restore and regenerate the rainforest that once occupied the 19-acre site on the island’s north shore.

Read more about the film and see a nationwide broadcast schedule at The Merwin Conservancy, or check your local PBS station’s schedule for details. (In Washington, KSPS/Spokane will air the program on Sunday, April 17, at 4:00pm and KCTS 9 will broadcast it on Saturday, April 30, at 8:00pm and again at 3:00am on Sunday, May 1.)
. . . . .
photo: Cicala Filmworks

on poetry

September 30, 2014

W.S. Merwin photo by Matt Valentine“I think of poetry as being audible. One of the differences between prose and poetry is that you have to hear poetry.”
W.S. Merwin
(b. September 30, 1927)
. . . . .
photo by Matt Valentine

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